Ford Transit-based Class C offers luxurious amenities and a whole lot of storage
Hanging bicycles on the back of a motorhome comes with inherent risks. Will the rack be strong enough to handle the weight of the bikes? Is it certified for RV use? Are the handlebars scraping the exterior paint, and will they still be there after stopping for lunch on the road? Regardless if you are carrying a discount-store brand bike or a $5,000 carbon-fiber racing machine, protecting your investment is important.
Leisure Travel Vans, part of Triple E Recreational Vehicles of Canada, has taken the worry out of those concerns with its all-new Wonder W24RTB Class C motorhome. The Rear Twin Bed model is one of three floorplans in the Wonder series and offers owners an exterior pass-through garage big enough to accommodate two full-size bicycles.
A heavy-duty 16-inch-by-5-foot slide-out tray can hold two bicycles (folding or with all wheels removed) and a plethora of other items in its 67-cubic-foot rear storage area. Two small passage doors that lead to interior storage are located inside the compartment, and a box holding the unit’s dual 6-volt house batteries provides easy access for maintenance. The optional exterior table ($416) and ladder strap to the wall. Interestingly, the switch for the Carefree 11-foot awning is placed in the storage compartment. Note, too, that the awning will catch lightly on the entry door if it is open.
The Wonder sits on a Ford Transit chassis powered by a 3.2-liter inline five-cylinder Power Stroke turbodiesel engine offering 185 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque and a six-speed transmission. Rolling across central Florida in mixed driving situations, the package delivered a respectable 15 mpg.
Storage compartment with slide-out tray for two bicycles, split bath, versatile sleeping and seating areas
Awning switch location, only two seat belts
Owners of large Class A motorhomes looking to downsize will be thrilled with the ease of the driving experience of the Wonder, from the ability to quickly merge into traffic to the confident, comfortable handling of the steering wheel as the motorhome straight-lines down the highway even in moderate crosswinds. If you do drift over the line, Ford’s Lane-Keeping System sends three pulses to the steering wheel to remind you to get back on course. Taking turns and curves are a dream, and the absence of sway and drift is attributed to the long 178-inch wheelbase. A nice addition would be the Ford Blind Spot Information System (BLIS ).
Drivers will be able to pull into any fuel station that offers diesel and then pull right out, as piloting the Wonder feels more like driving an SUV than a motorhome. Ford’s fill pipes for diesel and DEF are safeguarded by the closed driver’s-side door. The 25-gallon fuel tank should keep owners on the road for comfortable distances without the need to make a fuel stop.
Unlike many other van-based chassis, owners will appreciate the ease of entry into the cab; they won’t be looking for a grab bar or the steering wheel to pull themselves on board. A very tall windshield provides an excellent view of the highway as you settle into ultraleather captain’s chairs, and there is no readily apparent road or wind noise. You can crank up the Ford SYNC 3 with MyFord Touch, which features AM/FM, Bluetooth, voice navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The contemporary Euro styling of the Wonder will draw a crowd if the reaction from onlookers during our stay at Tropical Palms RV Resort, a mile from the Walt Disney World complex near Kissimmee, Florida, is any indication. While many new test motorhomes raise a few eyebrows, a small crowd gathered quickly around the Wonder to gawk at the styling and Euro Sport paint scheme, one of seven available. The smooth body features contoured side walls, a fiberglass flex roof, and aerodynamic integrated front and rear fiberglass caps. The Wonder’s total length is 24 feet, 9 inches and the exterior height, including air conditioner, is just under 10 feet. A Class 1, 1¼-inch-square hitch receiver, limits towing to 2,000 pounds.
Chrome twist-and-snap latches lock the fiberglass compartment doors featuring top continuous hinges and gas struts. Besides the aforementioned storage garage and its 34-inch-wide, 42-inch-tall passageway, there is one additional storage compartment on the driver’s side. Inside the utility bay are all of the fill and empty options; you will need to reach a bit to find the gray- and black-tank handles that are well behind the optional macerator. One nice touch is an LP-gas tank on/off switch, which is much easier to operate than the standard turn valve. The macerator is operated by a toggle switch on the main panel. The unit features a winterizing system with hose. The freshwater tank is 30 gallons, and the gray and black tanks hold 28 gallons each. On the passenger side is a quick-connect LP-gas fitting for a barbecue.
Directly above the service compartment is the Truma AquaGo comfort plus instantaneous water heater. Another option for this unit is the Cummins Onan 3.6-kW LP-gas generator ($3,933). The generator can be programmed to automatically turn on and charge the house batteries when voltage drops to a set threshold. On top of the unit is an optional 400-watt flex solar panel ($2,860; a 200-watt panel is available for $1,430).
Another great option is the key fob ($358) that locks and unlocks not only the driver and passenger doors, but also the entry door to the living space. No more fumbling with three or four similar keys to work the locks.
Upon opening the living area door, you will immediately find under-step storage for shoes, a great feature that helps to keep the interior clean. Stepping in farther, you walk into the galley, the most expansive in the Leisure Travel Vans line, and at first see the Corian counter extension that folds up to create the largest countertop found in any of the company’s models. Other features include an integrated slide-out garbage bin and pull-out pantry. A large, deep circular single-bay sink provides plenty of room to stack plates and glasses if you decide to run out to catch the sunset or a bike ride and wash dishes later. A stylish stainless-steel backsplash runs the length of the wall behind the sink to help contain any runoff. A pull-down cover protects the standard two-burner LP-gas cooktop. The Natural Rift cabinetry provides ample space using deep full-pullout drawers, and curved Bianco White upper cabinets with soft-close hinges and handles hidden beneath to give an uncluttered look. The large pull-out pantry offers several shelves for canned and boxed goods.
Across from the galley is a Dometic 6.7-cubic-foot three-way refrigerator/freezer, and above it is a High Pointe 1,000-watt 1.1-cubic-foot microwave convection with nine preprogrammed temperatures.
The innovative dinette table features two folding leaves, providing extra dining space when needed, and sits on top of a removable swivel mount, which can be moved to an additional mount located in the bedroom area to create a secondary setting. There is a bit of a learning curve for using the table, as you may need to rotate it around a couple of times to find the right fit. The table does easily rotate for getting in and out of the comfortable chairs that are on either side. The leaves also make it easy for one person to sit and work on a computer while leaving the other chair open. The passenger-side captain’s chair rotates to face the table, albeit at a lower position, but would be a comfortable spot for a guest to be involved in conversation or to watch the 28-inch Samsung smart TV that is mounted above the galley. The standard Winegard ConnecT 2.0 Wi-Fi extender and 4G LTE with integrated TV antenna keeps all of your devices connected; there’s also prewiring for a satellite dish. A Blu-ray player with Bluetooth sound bar fulfills the entertainment package up front.
Walk toward the back from the galley and a split bath features a shower on the left with skylight and plenty of headroom for those up to 6 feet tall. There is storage for toiletries and a drop-down rod to dry a towel. The shower door opens across the aisle and locks into place to close off the back of the motorhome, providing privacy to the bath and bedroom. Across from the shower is a room that houses the sink and a porcelain macerating toilet. An awesome design feature is the two-way mirror, which either stays in place offering a view out the window or flips across and locks into place to block the window for additional privacy.
The bedroom area has opposing 32-by-76-inch twin beds and there’s a table for conveniently stowing beverages, a tablet or a book. The low-profile 15,000-Btu roof air conditioner with heat pump is centered between the beds. The bedroom area does rise up two steps, so owners will need to quickly learn to duck slightly when getting up to, and moving out of, the area. On the passenger side is a 24-inch smart TV.
Flipping over the table allows the twin beds to form a 64-by-76-inch slightly oversized queen bed. (Owners with animals may find the area beneath the queen bed suite a convenient spot for a dog or cat bed.) Beneath each twin bed is a rod for hanging shirts and blouses and a series of deep storage areas with shelves offering plenty of room to store clothing and other items. Above each side are two long storage shelves with USB and 120-volt AC receptacles and white enclosed cabinets similar to those in the front of the motorhome.
Operating all the motorhome’s systems is accomplished using the Firefly Integrations multiplex controls, which Leisure Travel Vans only offers in the W24RTB model and are located at the center of the interior. Above the entryway are the control panels for the Go Power! solar system, Xantrex 1,000-watt inverter and Truma AquaGo water heater.
Additional peace of mind against thunderstorms is via an optional surge protector ($455).
The Wonder W24RTB offers innovative storage and gets extra points for the use of space beneath the sleeping quarters. And Leisure Travel Vans doesn’t skimp on the standard features. So, whether you’re a first-time buyer or a seasoned motorhome owner looking to downsize, the W24RTB has a well-designed package, taking full advantage of Ford’s Transit diesel configuration for a smooth driving experience.
Leisure Travel Vans | 877-992-9906
Model Ford Transit
Engine 3.2-liter I-5 Power Stroke turbodiesel
SAE Hp 185 @ 3,000 rpm
Torque 350 lb-ft @ 1,500-2,500 rpm
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Axle Ratio 4.10:1
Tires 195/75R16 LR-C
Brakes Front/Rear 4-wheel anti-lock disc
Suspension Front/Rear Independent
MacPherson strut/leaf springs
Fuel Capacity 25 gal
Fuel Economy 15 mpg
Warranty 3 years/3,000 miles basic;
5 years/60,000 miles powertrain
Exterior Length 24′ 9″
Exterior Width 7′ 10.5″
Exterior Height with A/C 9′ 11.5″
Interior Width 7′ 5″
Interior Height 6′ 5″
Construction Contoured, vacuum-bonded aluminum-framed side walls; foam insulation; gelcoat fiberglass; domed, vacuum-bonded roof; steel-framed, vacuum-bonded floor
Freshwater Capacity 30 gal
Black-Water Capacity 28 gal
Gray-Water Capacity 28 gal
Water-Heater Capacity Truma AquaGo comfort plus continuous
LP-Gas Capacity 13.2 gal
Air Conditioner 15,000 Btu with heat pump
Furnace 16,000 Btu
Refrigerator Dometic 6.7-cu-ft 3-way
Inverter/Charger Xantrex 1,000W XC Series
Batteries (1) 12-volt chassis, (2) 6-volt house
AC Generator 3.6 kW Onan LP-gas
MSRP as Tested $129,728
Warranty 2 years/24,000 miles limited coach;
3 years limited warranty structure
(Water and water heater, fuel full; no supplies or passengers)
Front Axle 3,880 lbs
Rear Axle 5,620 lbs
Total 9,500 lbs
GAWR, Front/Rear 4,130 lbs/7,275 lbs
GVWR/GCWR 10,360 lbs/12,000 lbs
ROCCC 860 lbs
GAWR Gross Axle Weight Rating
GVWR Gross Vehicle Weight Rating
GCWR Gross Combination Weight Rating
ROCCC Realistic Occupant and Cargo Carrying Capacity (full water, no passengers)